By Sophie Vinograd

Halloween is the best time of year to gear up and go out dressed as your favorite, well, anything. Eager kids and adults alike spend hours and tireless dedication conceptualizing and materializing the “perfect” costume, be it a celebrity, an animal, a mythical character, or even a food—saw a banana AND a hotdog last year.

The quest for the top costume is a long and tempestuous road, but when the decision has been made, the look is complete, and your friends and neighbors “Oooh” and “Ahh” at your get-up, all that consideration seems well worth it. Fortunately for you, we are here to help you brainstorm the best costume ideas for 2011, based on the most standout headlines, stories and happenings from this year.

Photo Credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Amy Winehouse

The death of this 27-year-old singer sadly reminded us of her massive talent…and even more massive beehived hair. Some people might say “too soon“ for this costume, but come on— they knew it was going to happen. Grab a white tank top and some jean shorts out of your closet, don a cat-eye makeup job and have an artistic friend draw on some faux tattoos, and you’re almost there. The most important final touch? A black Elvira Wig teased up just right.

Artistic Costumes
1304 Goucher Avenue
Towson, Md 21286
(410) 321-1121
Reviews, Directions & More Info


Double Dream Hands Man

Also known as John Jacobson. This costume list wouldn’t be complete without one viral YouTube celebrity. This one is especially great because you can walk around doing the double dream hands dance all night, and everyone will love it at first, and then eventually want to punch you in the face. Yellow polo, khakis, black belt, running shoes, sweet dance moves. The look can be found (if not already in your closet) at Target.

Target – Mondawmin Mall
2401 Liberty Heights Avenue
Baltimore, Md. 21215-8019
(410) 523-1534
Hours: Mon-Fri 8 a.m. -10 p.m.; Sat 8 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun 8 a.m.-9 p.m.

The Black Swan

Whacked-out movie about ballerinas, perfectly dark and spooky for Halloween. Either buy a black tutu and leotard from Artistic Costumes, or do a simulated version from Forever 21, with an inexpensive, short, black tulle party dress, paired with black ballet flats and a ballerina bun. Eye-makeup is pretty essential to this costume too, so if you can’t do a good enough job imitating it yourself, we say head to the MAC store in Towson, and let them try their professional makeup hand.

Forever 21
200 E Pratt St Ste 2096
Baltimore, Md. 21202
(410) 659-9393
Hours: Sun 12 p.m. -6 p.m.; Mon-Sat 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Reviews, Directions & More Info

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Charlie Sheen

Well, everyone’s got their own opinion, but Charlie Sheen seems to think he had a pretty amazing year. So for the “winning” costume, visit the website, pair with khakis, a fedora and refer to yourself as a warlock for the evening. OK, so this is actually based on his “Two And A Half Men” character but it will still work.
Maybe also ask a hot blonde to be your companion for the evening and you really can’t go wrong here.

Ray Lewis

Baltimore’s favorite sort-of criminal, ‘cause he’s also a star linebacker. This costume is effortless to put together, and the lazy person’s answer to a Baltimore-relevant costume. Eye-black, #52 Ravens jersey, black spandex pants, and a fake knife from your local Halloween shop. Take a stab at it.

Baltimore Sports & Novelty
9924 Reisterstown Rd
Owings Mills, Md. 21117
(410) 363-7370
Reviews, Directions & More Info

Sophie Vinograd is a writer, creative strategist and funk enthusiast living in Charles Village. You can check out her portfolio at, and her social commentary blog, Blackout Factory, at